Updated August 8th
Please note I have had to change my email address , which now is laurie.manser@gmail.com please use  this if you wish to contact me.
I do hope that some of the hints will be of use to you, I can only say what I do and why I do it
 as , there is not a right or wrong way of doing things in gardening .
I did write a small book about my life from a garden boy in the 40's and we sold it when I did my "Memory" talk, we donated 50p per book to the British Heart Foundation who received over £1000.00 as a result. I do not get it printed now but on the right is a link by which you can download it to read.
I have been asked to put my talk on to a disc for those who have been unable to hear it, I have done this and a few discs are available ,please email me for details.
At the bottom of this page if you click on "older posts" there are more hints

Garden Hints for August

          We are having a most unusual year this year as regards the weather. Early on it was so wet and cold we could not plant anything and nothing grew but recently it has been so hot and dry. Some crops will need to be harvested early and some may even fail.
          Potatoes, peas, French beans are ready to harvest and the peas and beans need to be picked when young so as to encourage more to come.  If you should
Decide to grow a late crop of peas, possibly where you have cleared your early potatoes then you should use an early variety. Early varieties crop about 10-11 weeks after sowing and should be clear before the colder nights come back together with the mildew. Main crop peas take much longer to mature and you can lose the crop to mildew.
          Spring cabbage seed can be sown to give you plants for later planting. It is still not too late for a sowing of lettuce and radish.
          I like to try and keep my runner beans moist at the roots which I believe helps with the pollination, better than spraying water all over the plants which
can wet the pollen.
          Any flowers or grasses that you grow to use dry in arrangements should be cut possibly around midday when the sun is out and warm. If you strip the foliage it gets rid of the bad smell and the flowers dry quicker.
You can start collecting seeds from the annuals for next year.
          Hanging baskets and containers need to be kept watered, removing faded flowers will lengthen the flowering period and cuttings of geraniums can be taken. I like to have a good half-inch of good coarse sand on top of the compost then you can get many cuttings in a 5 inch pot without fear of them damping off.
If you disbud some of your dahlias you will get bigger flowers but do keep cutting so that seed heads do not form.
          Raspberries that have fruited can be pruned now by cutting to ground level all the canes that have fruited this year. Then you can tie in the new canes about a hands width between the canes. Autumn fruiting varieties are left until the spring for pruning as they fruit on new canes formed next year.
Strawberry runners can be pegged into pots to make it easier to lift and replant
          If we have a dry spell it is best to raise the blades of your mower so as not to cut too low thus giving moss a good chance to establish itself. In my opinion we waste a lot of water trying to keep our lawns green .

Container grown plants

As most of you will know I lost my garden when we had to move from the tied house with our employer dieing and me coming to the age  of 80. Since then we have grow most things in containers apart from things I grow on my allottment. These picture are just to show some of the  container plants.

Sweet peas

Thse are my first bunch picked 25th May which is right as I usually pick chelsea week.
I went to my allotment this morning to check after hard frost. pleased to see sweet peas still looking good. They were sown on 8th October last year.

Potatoes ready for planting after at least ten weeks chitting, I will plant them on the flat so that I have plenty of soil for earthing up  and the potatoes grow through the centre of the ridge rater than come out of the side.

2018 Sweetpeas

I sowed my sweetpeas on October 8th as I have done for many years, I have good germination 48 seedlings out of 50 seeds. I think there might be one or two to come up yet. They are looking rather drawn as with no garden or greenhouse I am very limited as to where to put them. I must single them out within a few days.
I have just singled the sweet peas into root trainers, there are 51 from 50 purchased seeds. They always allow one or two extras.

The second picture taken on Jan. 6th show sweet peas breaking with out being stopped , they are been outside ever since they were put into root trainers

My latest picture taken on March 28th shows plants now, planted hoping weather stays good.
waiting to be planted once the ground is suitable.

more onion news

More pictures to show the progress pf my onion sets. Top two taken 14th April

Onion sets just starting to  show, I plant well down in the soil so that no trouble with birds, having got rid of white rot I get a good crop.

Onion 2016


I am putting these pictures onto my website to show the effect of using garlic powder for white rot. When I first took over this plot I suffered a complete loss of my onion crop due to white rot, I have treated this area with garlic powder and this year they really do look good. I just need some sun to help ripen them up.

Sweet peas

It has been a bad year for me with sweet peas, I decided to try saving my own seed last year and this has been very reasonable but when I planted the plants back in March ,  the very next day we had storm Katie. This almost blew them out of the ground but enough survived to amke  best part of a row. As they came into flower I had bud drop plus a spell in hospital, this meant I had to let the plants go for about a week meaning bent stems. However when show day came I managed one vase of ten, these were good enough to bet  best in show so I still hold the cup which I forst won 42 years ago. I have not had it every year but will keep trying.

Some of my seedling daffodils

These are 3 of my seedlings that I have registered and named over the years. I have had prizes at London shows with them including "Best" in section with Ann's Blush. We also have Molly Ann named after our grand daugther
Top bloom Ann's White , bottom left Ann's Cream.and bottom right Ann.s Blush

Broad Beans 2016

Thess last two photos were taken on May 8th, the row is not complete as I lost a few in the bad storm but should get a good crop before the blackfly start
In past years I have sown my Aquadulce broad beans direct in the round in Oct/Nov but this year as the ground was very wet and in the past I have lost some to the mice etc. I have tried starting them in a tray. I have no greenhouse now so they have been in a cold frame. They are now ready for planting out and look quite good.

broad beans 2014/15

Broad Beans now in flower , they came through the winter very well.
Some of my Aqaudulce broadbeans , I sow in late October as they are a good hardy variety to stand the winter.  Sometimes they get damaged with servere frost but even then they will break at soil level.

Had some sucess at our show  Saturday April 11th. Many varieties were not out but using those that were I won 4 trophies along with 10 first prizes. I am very pleased as they are all grown on my allottment now having lost our agrden when we moved from the tied house. The pink trumpet is called Pink Silk.